Our favorite Florida Gulf Coast hotels suggestion list will help visitors navigate and decide from among the thousands of amazing hotels, inns, vacation rentals, and other places to stay in Southwest Florida.
These Florida Gulf Coast destinations—from Marco Island in the south end to Dunedin at the top—include Naples, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, and Clearwater Beach.
Links for each property connect directly to pages listing research rates, reviews, and information on Booking.com, VRBO, or TripAdvisor. We MIGHT receive a VERY small commission if you book a stay. Note that the rate is the same whether you book through our link, directly with the website, or through a different link.
Our Favorite Best Naples Florida Hotel
Our favorite hotel in Naples Florida is Inn on Fifth, the only luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown Naples.
The Inn on Fifth is within walking distance of the beach, shops and amazing restaurants on Fifth Avenue and Third Street, and Tin City. They also provide elegant and complimentary transport service to guests, up to two miles from the property. For an enhanced experience, book one of the Inn on Fifth Club Level Suites, with a private balcony, rooftop deck (with pool and hot tub), and dedicated concierge lounge (great snacks and drinks).
Other Florida Gulf Coast Hotels in Naples and Marco Island
Collier County has 115 hotels and condos, including 66 in Naples and 24 in Marco Island, according to the local tourism office. The following are some favorite Southwest Florida places to stay in Naples and Marco Island.
Our favorite moderate hotel in Naples Florida is Lemon Tree Inn. It is located a few blocks from Fifth Avenue. Across the street is Bellasera Resort, an elegant property with oversized suites.
Several relaxed luxury Florida resorts in Naples warrant consideration. On Vanderbilt Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Naples is magnificent and its sister property, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, is perfect for golf lovers. Naples Grande Resort is a short walk to the Waterside Shops. Inn at Pelican Bay is a four-diamond boutique hotel located a mile from Vanderbilt Beach and walking distance to many great restaurants and shops.
Other highly-ranked independent small hotels in Naples are The Gondolier Inn, Trianon Old Naples, Naples Bay Resort and Marina, Hotel Escalante, and Inn of Naples.
Highly-rated Naples Florida hotel properties include Staybridge Suites Naples Marco Island, Holiday Inn Express Naples Downtown, Hilton Naples, Springhill Suites Naples, Hyatt House Naples.
This Old Naples Barefoot Bungalow is in a superb location, just 1000 feet from Naples Pier.
The best Marco Island hotels are the Florida Gulf Coast resorts. JW Marriott Marco Island, Marco Beach Ocean Resort, and Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort are the three major Marco Island waterfront properties. This highly rated Marco Island rental home has three bedroom and a private pool.
Our Favorite Place to Stay in the Beaches of Fort Myers
In the area including Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island, our favorite place to stay is South Seas Island Resort, located at the end of the Florida scenic drive onto Captiva Island. Occupying 330 acres of nature preserve with 2.5 miles of private beach, South Seas Island Resort is a tranquil but also adventurous (your choice!) waterfront resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Rent a golf cart so that you can explore all the secret places and hidden paths. See our South Seas Island Resort review.
Other Places to Stay in Fort Myers Beach area
Popular and highly rated Southwest Florida resorts on Fort Myers Beach include Lighthouse Resort, Outrigger Beach Resort, Pointe Estero Resort, and Diamond Head Beach Resort. On the islands, we have heard stellar words from friends who have stayed at Shalamar Cottages on Sanibel Island and Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island.
Vacation rentals, especially condos, are popular on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. But there are also rental houses. This massive Sanibel Island house and this Captiva Island rental house are ideal for a multigenerational vacation, family reunion, or other event.
Best Punta Gorda Hotels
Our favorite Florida Gulf Coast hotels in Punta Gorda include The Suites at Fishermen’s Village and Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside—which is located at the bridge, on the Harborwalk trail, and has onsite tiki bar. Right next to that hotel is SpringHill Suites by Marriott Punta Gorda Harborside.
This Punta Gorda vacation rental house is on one of the many Punta Gorda canals and allows convenient kayaking from your backyard. For remarkable sunsets from your own private outdoor space, check out this Manasota Key waterfront cottage. Get totally off the grid on Cayo Costa, an offshore tranquil island with no vehicles. This Old Florida Beach House features solar energy, fresh water, and vast stretches of private beach.
Favorite Florida Gulf Coast Hotels in Sarasota
One of our favorite places to stay in Sarasota is the Bentley’s Boutique Hotel in Osprey, south of Sarasota. It is located across the street from Oscar Scherer State Park and closer to Venice Beach and Caspersen Beach.
Some of the best Sarasota Hotels are Art Ovation Hotel, Carlisle Inn Sarasota, Ameniti Bay, and Casa Limonada. Luxury hotels in Sarasota include The Ritz-Carlton-Sarasota and Hyatt Residence Club Sarasota. The classic Lido Beach Resort is a Florida Gulf Coast favorite for many people.
Like most of the Florida West Coast, Sarasota County has plenty of vacation rental properties. Try this Lido Key gulf front condo near St Armonds Circle or this downtown Sarasota vacation rental.
Best Places to Stay on Anna Maria Island
Our favorite places to stay in Anna Maria Island are vacation rental properties. According to the local tourism agency, the 23 hotels on Anna Maria Island and the Manatee County portion of Longboat Key represent only 11% of the available rentals (570 rooms out of 5,200 units). If you are unfamiliar with vacation rentals or want more tips, see 8 Great Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels.
Two Anna Maria Island vacation rentals we like are Holmes Beach cottage and this Anna Maria Island condo.
Two recommended Anna Maria Island hotels to try include Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club and Bridgewalk.
Best Places to Stay in St Pete Beach
At the southern end of St Pete Beach is a tiny community called Pass-a-Grille. One of our favorite Florida west coast hotels and a favorite place to stay in Pass-a-Grille is Coconut Inn.
The famous “Pink Palace” of Don CeSar is three miles away and a little further is the highly rated Treasure Island Beach Resort.
Best Clearwater Beach Hotels
Our favorite place to stay in Clearwater Beach is in the Indian Rocks Beach section. We have stayed in many Indian Rocks Beach rental properties and hope to stay in this gorgeous IRB Beach cottage next. Enjoy the magnificent Gulf Coast sunsets from this IRB beachfront condo or this gulf front condo rental. See our favorite 8 Great Indian Rocks Beach Restaurants.
Of the giant oceanfront hotels in Clearwater Beach, our favorite is Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. Other Clearwater Beach hotels include Opal Sands, Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach, Hampton Inn and Suites Clearwater Beach, and Marriott Suites on Sand Key.
The 8th floor Clearwater Beach condo rental provides sensational Florida Gulf Coast sunset views.
Best Place to Stay in Dunedin
The Fenway Hotel in Dunedin is a music-themed boutique hotel. The Fenway is a sister property of Epicurean Hotel in Tampa—which is associated with the classic Bern’s Steakhouse (one of the best Tampa restaurants). See our Fenway Hotel review and Epicurean Hotel review.
Another suggested Dunedin Florida hotel is Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn. This Dunedin waterfront condo is very walkable to downtown Dunedin.
We hope you enjoyed this summary of the best Florida Gulf Coast hotels. Certainly we did not list every hotel but we definitely would like to stay in them all. Let us know in the comment section your favorite places to stay in Southwest Florida.
2 thoughts on “Terrific Florida Gulf Coast Hotels and Places to Stay in Southwest Florida”
Exactly. Plus, shhhh, I did not even mention (in this article) the sunset s’mores and champagne experience. Perfect for romantic couples.
These all sound fabulous Florida Gulf Coast hotels. I really like the sound of South Seas Island Resort though. How amazing to have 330 acres of nature preserve & 2 1/2 miles of private beach.
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